Michael Thompson’s win at the Honda Classic two weeks ago was notable, not only because it came against a star-studded field on a difficult golf course, but also because of his dreadful beginning to 2013 (missed cuts in three of four starts). Equally impressive was Thompson’s performance last week at the WGC Cadillac Championship, where he tied for eighth.
Tour players will tell you that after winning one week, it can be even more difficult to produce the next, especially if you’re coming off your first victory. The hundreds of calls, texts, e-mails, tweets and media obligations make it tough to be ready when play begins three days later. There are new pressroom, pro-am and sponsor obligations, and your own expectations go up. On top of that, your career path changes.
In one of my best years, 1997, I was fresh off a victory in New Orleans and considered a favorite going into the Masters. My game was working and my confidence was high, but come Friday I was done. After my round I was at a urinal in the locker room when Jack Nicklaus sauntered up. “Jack,” I said, “I need to learn to play better the week after a win.” He looked at me and said something like, “Well, if you figure it out let me know.” So kudos to Thompson for having the wherewithal to follow his stellar win at PGA National with another strong performance at Doral.
Brad Faxon has won eight times on the PGA Tour.